Sony and Fujifilm? What’s your battery story?

Fujifilm and Sony have both embarked down a path which concerns me. For the first time we are seeing camera manufacturers warning users not to use third-party batteries in their cameras with a nice little warning message popping up on their cameras.

Now I have no issue if there are legitimate concerns, but excuse me if I have a health dose of scepticism when it comes to believing them for a couple of reasons:

  1. Camera manufacturers have a history of, well, how do we put this? Ah, yes, ripping the consumer off. I’m picking on Fujifilm first, because I have spent more time with them so it’s easier to talk about my personal experience: You can get good third-party batteries for a 5th of the price with 90% of the performance. We know Fujifilm’s margins are good because they can include 2 extra batteries with the grip for under $25 each, so let’s be honest here, they are making a healthy dose of profit on the batteries. Sony is probably in the same, boat, as are every other manufacturer.
  2. People have been using third-party batteries for years without incident. The only time I hear of an incident is one of those “My friend’s cousin’s best mate’s uncle’s who once knew a person who tried a third party battery and their camera blew up” but nothing actually documented. So we have a couple of million camera users out there, a lot of which are using third party batteries and it’s near impossible to actually validate an incident?
  3. Are Fujifilm and Sony suddenly trying to indicate their electronic quality is so low that they believe the camera could be damaged, despite having USB-C which has to deal with variable voltage, and a battery grip that has to deal with two batteries? More surprising when you consider that battery life gets worse in time so even original batteries should theoretically cause problems as they get old?

In short, I don’t have a whole lot of trust in the manufacturers at this point of time, particularly when this warning message makes them more money.

And if there are legitimate reason for concern, kindly tell us how we managed to live with third party batteries and the cameras suddenly became so sensitive that they cannot handle them?


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